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Massillon Woman Thankful to Stay Close to Home for Heart Valve Procedure

Posted on: November 6, 2017

“Some people told me to go to the Cleveland Clinic. But I didn’t want to and I didn’t need to, thanks to Dr. Sabe.” — Diane Blicharski, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Patient

When Massillon resident Diane Blicharski underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure at Mercy recently, she felt at ease and confident in the abilities of Ahmed Sabe, MD, a Harvard-trained interventional cardiologist and executive director of Mercy Cardiovascular Catheterization Lab. That’s because, over the years, Dr. Sabe was involved in her oldest daughter’s care for heart disease and performed procedures for two other extended family members.

“He’s a wonderful man,” she says. “He’s very easy to talk to, and very down to earth. You can tell he is excited when patients do well with treatment and have a better quality of life.”

Along with his caring and compassion, Dr. Sabe also brought decades of minimally invasive valve procedure expertise to Diane’s situation. In 1995, he performed Stark County’s first transseptal mitral valvuloplasty. Twenty years later in 2015, Dr. Sabe was the first to perform TAVR in Stark County, making him the area’s most experienced in percutaneous valve procedures—exactly what Diane, who also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), needed.

Because of her shortness of breath, Diane has undergone annual echocardiograms. This year, the test revealed a damaged aortic valve. Her physician, Simonette Jones, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a cardiologist with Mercy Cardiovascular Institute, immediately recommended TAVR procedure with Ahmed Sabe, MD. One day after her procedure, Diane was discharged home. Many patients are eligible to leave the same day as surgery.

“Some people told me to go to the Cleveland Clinic,” Diane says. “But I didn’t want to and I didn’t need to, thanks to Dr. Sabe. Now I am looking forward to doing simple things again, like taking walks and going up and down my stairs without as much struggle.”

Learn more about TAVR at Mercy here: https://www.cantonmercy.org/tavr.

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